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Mathewe

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
31
Points
8
Hello everyone!
I'm a bit old in the world, but new to this laser thing. I have a lot to learn before I get going and I wish to start with safety, first. I have some questions.

1)... How can I test my safety glasses/goggles to insure that they are properly advertised and truly safe for the wave-length and power of my laser?

2)... Would it be safe to watch the 'beam' of a blue laser, without eye protection, so long as the beams' point of origin, as well as it's termination point cannot be seen... nor would any laser light possibly be reflected off of any shiny surfaces? Basically, is it just the dot and reflections of that dot that are dangerous? Is viewing the side of the beam safe?

3)... Good books for entry level learning and DIY building... I could use some good suggestions! ;)
 



paul1598419

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
18,892
Points
113
Welcome to the LPF, Matt. You can look at laser beams in the air without eye protection as you couldn't see them with it. The only reflections that should concern you are collimated ones off mirrored-like surfaces. Uncollimated reflections are spread out over the entire area around you. My favorite book is Sold-State Laser Engineering by Walter Koechner, but it isn't for anyone just starting out as it is filled with the physics math needed to explain what is happening. Good luck. ;)
 

Mathewe

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
31
Points
8
Welcome to the LPF, Matt. You can look at laser beams in the air without eye protection as you couldn't see them with it. The only reflections that should concern you are collimated ones off mirrored-like surfaces. Uncollimated reflections are spread out over the entire area around you. My favorite book is Sold-State Laser Engineering by Walter Koechner, but it isn't for anyone just starting out as it is filled with the physics math needed to explain what is happening. Good luck. ;)
Many thanks, Paul!

You've answered a 'MAJOR' safety question that has not been truly clarified in 'any' reading material that I have so far read... nor has been elaborated upon via the numerous video's that I have watched on YouTube. Everything that I 'read' states that wearing safety glasses/goggles is a MUST, at all times, "no matter what"... while a lot of YouTube videos show people working with high power lasers using no eye protection at all. I find this to be quite confusing, curious and also lacking in proper/needful explanation, to say the least. It posed a question:.. "Are those folks, on YouTube, simply being dangerously careless with their lasers, or is there more to be disclosed about the parameters involving certain safety precautions than is being explained?" Seeing how's all of the YouTubers I've been watching still have their eyes, I was pretty sure that looking at the side of the beam was safe, however. I had to ask that question, in this forum, for my own personal piece of mind, as well as the safety of those who might possibly be in the immediate viewing area while my laser is in operation.
"One question answered... 10,000 questions to go!"
 

paul1598419

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
18,892
Points
113
You are more than welcome. If I can be of assistance with anything else, just ask.
 

AquaticHarpy

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
93
Points
8
Hello everyone!
I'm a bit old in the world, but new to this laser thing. I have a lot to learn before I get going and I wish to start with safety, first. I have some questions.

1)... How can I test my safety glasses/goggles to insure that they are properly advertised and truly safe for the wave-length and power of my laser?

2)... Would it be safe to watch the 'beam' of a blue laser, without eye protection, so long as the beams' point of origin, as well as it's termination point cannot be seen... nor would any laser light possibly be reflected off of any shiny surfaces? Basically, is it just the dot and reflections of that dot that are dangerous? Is viewing the side of the beam safe?

3)... Good books for entry level learning and DIY building... I could use some good suggestions! ;)
Hiya and welcome to the forums!!

I know its probably already answered but I'll give ya my take here as well, though I highly agree with Paul~

Safety glasses, always buy from a reputable manufacturer, the forums should have a list here somewhere maybe, also styro made a good video on this and reccomended a supplier. Make sure the ratings are for the nm of laser youre using, as well as the strength. Also, many green lasers can emit blinding levels of invisible IR light, so be careful there, mostly lower end green pointers.

If you can see the beam with the glasses on, they might not be the best, try looking at LED's of that color or even surfaces, Ive got a pair that works well for blues and reds, red is practically black, and I can hardly read the numbers on my digital alarm clock with them on since theyre red LED. Blue light is pretty similar. They only let green through :p.

Watching the beam of any laser is totally ok, just dont look at the diode, lense, or the dot if its of eye hazard power. Be careful of pointing around of any burnable/shiny surfaces..

ALSO, if youre doing experiments with a lab power supply, and manually cranking the volts or amps, dont take off your glasses like an idiot before you're done getting the laser totally off, Ive had instances melting coins where it looked dim enough through the glasses, subconcious though it would be a good idea and Id be fine...

Just always wear your goggles til the laser is totally off..

For books Id visit the library or google some! The internet has been my best resource. Sorry for rambling~

Be safe and have fun!!
 

Mathewe

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
31
Points
8
Hiya and welcome to the forums!!

I know its probably already answered but I'll give ya my take here as well, though I highly agree with Paul~

Safety glasses, always buy from a reputable manufacturer, the forums should have a list here somewhere maybe, also styro made a good video on this and reccomended a supplier. Make sure the ratings are for the nm of laser youre using, as well as the strength. Also, many green lasers can emit blinding levels of invisible IR light, so be careful there, mostly lower end green pointers.

If you can see the beam with the glasses on, they might not be the best, try looking at LED's of that color or even surfaces, Ive got a pair that works well for blues and reds, red is practically black, and I can hardly read the numbers on my digital alarm clock with them on since theyre red LED. Blue light is pretty similar. They only let green through :p.

Watching the beam of any laser is totally ok, just dont look at the diode, lense, or the dot if its of eye hazard power. Be careful of pointing around of any burnable/shiny surfaces..

ALSO, if youre doing experiments with a lab power supply, and manually cranking the volts or amps, dont take off your glasses like an idiot before you're done getting the laser totally off, Ive had instances melting coins where it looked dim enough through the glasses, subconcious though it would be a good idea and Id be fine...

Just always wear your goggles til the laser is totally off..

For books Id visit the library or google some! The internet has been my best resource. Sorry for rambling~

Be safe and have fun!!
Many thanks. You say things that make a lot of sense! I appreciate that! :)
 




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